Leap back in time for RHS Garden Wisley’s prehistoric Houseplant Takeover

The iconic Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey will be transported back millions of years for the new ‘Houseplant Takeover – Plants Before Time’ exhibition, on from 3 February to 10 March 2024.

For the first time, the Houseplant Takeover will encompass the temperate, arid and tropical sections of the cathedral-like Glasshouse creating an inviting and warm environment to escape to this winter. Once inside, visitors are invited to take a journey of discovery to find fascinating plants such as ferns, palms and cycads, nestled amongst intriguing fossils, a volcano made of bromeliads and tillandsia, and dinosaur sculptures, footprints and eggs. While exploring, visitors can listen out for jungle-like noises and a distant roaring sound. There will also be a trail booklet for younger visitors to follow, with fun facts to find along the way.

Christopher Young, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley said: “The Houseplant Takeover is back this year with a new prehistoric twist. Our aim is to convey the sheer historic magnitude of these ancient plant species by giving them a time to shine, as well as making it a fun and interesting adventure for all the family.”

The route will feature six hero plants, each with Jurassic ancestry: Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine); Sphaeropteris cooperi (Cooper’s tree fern); Platycerium bifurcatum (common staghorn fern); Protea cynaroides (king protea); Encephalartos villosus (a South African cycad); and Howea forsteriana (sentry palm). 

The Glasshouse is open Monday to Friday: 10am – 3:45pm, Saturday to Sunday 9.30am – 3:45pm. Normal garden admission applies.

For further information, visit


For more information, or for hi-res images, please contact [email protected] 

Notes to editors

About RHS Garden Wisley

RHS Garden Wisley, Wisley Lane, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB

01483 224234

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in 1804 and is the UK’s largest gardening charity.

The RHS vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place via its inspirational gardens and shows, science research and advisory, extensive library collections and far-reaching education and community programmes. With over 600,000 members the RHS also shares its horticultural knowledge and expertise with millions of people every year through its website and publications.

In 2021, the RHS launched its Sustainability Strategy, committing to be net positive for nature and people by 2030. The supporting RHS Planet-Friendly Gardening Campaign will continue to harness the power of the UK’s 30 million gardeners to help tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.

We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

For more information visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.